VIDEO: The Hobbit (1966)

Hey, Tolkien fans! Did you know that there’s a film version of The Hobbit that you’ve probably never seen? Well, today’s your lucky day then! Join Mr. Mendo (and special guest Mikhail Gorbachev) as we take a look! It’s in a book! Um, sorry about that. Wow, that’s an engraved response.

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  • gasmaskangel

    Oh Mendo, I don’t think you’re Stalin. He had a much better mustache for starters.

    Anyways, the Hobbit is one of my all time favorite books, whatever it’s flaws, so burn! Burn in slight discomfort for all of time!

    That said, this has to have been some of the shittiest animation that I personally have ever seen. It’s like someone narrating over animatics, except some how worse. I kind of dug the art style though.

    • gasmaskangel

      Oh and I also got the Fat Slags reference.

      • MichaelANovelli


        • FullofQuestions1

          I got it too. :P

    • MichaelANovelli

      Just be glad I haven’t gotten around to reviewing Clutch Cargo…

      • Oh, please tell me you are going to get around to Clutch Cargo. That’s one of my favorite “what the hell was I watching?” shows from my childhood.

  • danbreunig

    Oooh, what things do I see…

    The whole production value of this piece reminds me of the 70’s Polish stop-motion Moomins shorts–same level of over-condensation, but at least with those they stayed true to the original stories. And I think I also see a bit of 1954 Animal Farm influence in there too, but that’s probably just from the Soviet history connection.

    I can see this as a potential Agony Anarchists review, since it involves a cheap foreign rendition of a major widely loved property. But then, no superheroes, so there ya go.

    I think I may actually remember that Pizza Hut ad!

    Cheers to sticking to your guns, Mendo, by stating outright to not enjoy a mass-beloved fandom. On that note I’ll gladly admit I’m maybe 1 of 20 people on earth who actually enjoyed all six Star Wars movies equally without any “this trilogy’s better than that one” mindset.

    Dig the video shelf filmset, too. And…interesting choice of description for Gandolf.

    • MichaelANovelli

      I didn’t want to give people the wrong idea, only that he looks like he fucks sheep. ;-)

    • Endorenna

      Someone else besides me likes and enjoys both Star Wars trilogies?

      THANK YOU. :D
      I claim 2 of 20.

      • danbreunig

        I may be just a simple fan of video reviewers, but any way I can help :)

  • Muthsarah

    Because of him, we are free to go to the edge! There, got that out of the way.

    Do you mean to say that THIS…THING…won an Academy Award, or whatever, I wasn’t really paying attention. This isn’t even animation, no more than my putting a camera in front of an old Berenstain Bears book and occasionally shaking it is animation.

    Part of me almost admires how gleefully this guy probably felt when ripping the original story to pieces to tell this, really, senseless tale. How do you….how….this isn’t even remotely close to the source material. Or to anything. And it doesn’t even work as an original work. It doesn’t work on any level whatsoever. It looks like it took two guys ten days to make it. It’s contemptuous. It’s lazy. Did…did they have trolling back then?

    I’m not really a fan of the LotR phenomenon (the original books, moreso, but still not that much, they’re just nice as a strong template for more recent authors, IMO), but….good Lord. This……I….

    That…not really said…a version of Middle Earth with an Eastern European aesthetic would be AWESOME! Did the movie explain the art direction (hee) in any way? No, I imagine it probably didn’t.

    • Pratchettgaiman

      It didn’t win an Academy Award, other things by the same studio did. This was an ashcan film, i.e. one that was created entirely to keep copyright in the hands of a company that wanted it (much like the unrealeased Roger Corman Fantastic Four movie), and so it was made on the cheap. You can watch this pretty easily on Youtube, if you would care to.

      The Eastern European aesthetic was because while Snyder was American he was headquartered in Communist Czechoslovakia, and the Eastern European style bled into the movie. You can definitely see why some of his other films wond the Academy Award

      • MichaelANovelli

        I confess, I couldn’t help but find this cartoon charming, in spite of myself…

  • Torgeaux

    Like a lot of things on this site, I never knew this film existed. Looks like a cartoon very much of it’s time. Early Hippie. It’s not meant to be seen by anyone over the age of 5 and if you’re older…well…dust off the bong. I’ve read Tolkien’s books about 3 times in my life. He must have liked Moby Dick a lot, because there are just as many WTF chapters in it as his trilogy.

    • MichaelANovelli

      Never had much use for bongs. Like any Irishman, I prefer a good pipe. ;-)

  • maarvarq

    Perhaps the ideal length for a Hobbit adaptation is somewhere between this “A whole bunch of stuff happened. The End.” and the bloated monster that PJ is currently unleashing.

    • MichaelANovelli

      And there need to be dinosaurs on motorcycles!

      • danbreunig

        I’d settle for the bio-dragon-cycle thingy on the front cover of Painkiller.

        • MichaelANovelli

          I agree! Dragon Zords for everybody!

      • Jason Withrow

        Yes but that’s universally true!

  • MichaelANovelli

    I just realized that the credits say “Follow Us” instead of “Follow Me”… They’ll send me to Siberia for this!

  • adrian

    when will The Dark Knight Rises review come out?

    • MichaelANovelli

      Oh, I’ll bet you’d like to know… ;-)

  • FullofQuestions1

    So this is why you were showing me that Pizza Hut video…

    • MichaelANovelli

      See? There’s a method to my madness!

  • Anon

    Weird how technology marches on, these days a primary school kid could make this. Actually they could probably do better. Though I doubt the animation style was well received even for its day.

    I actually haven’t seen Peter Jackson’s Hobbit yet and it’s been a very long time since I read the book but I’m pretty sure there isn’t a Princess in it.

    And the dragon’s name is Slag? Well, that doesn’t travel well.

  • I can explain the Russia-like Middle Earth. The main animator and co-director was Adolf Born, famous czech ilustrator and creator of animated series Mach a Šebestová (I loved that when I was a kid and I still love Born’s work) and Czech republic (Czechoslovakia in 1966) was part of Soviet Union. Also, that was first work of Adolf Born in animation and it is from 1966 and they had no time to do it properly, so that’s why it pretty much sucked, but I really liked the Fairy Tale – Russian Middle Earth and ending with Bilbo getting laid. And I liked that the Trolls turned into trees and I like how Gollum is creepy. If you want to see this, you can watch it on YouTube. Link here:

  • Carlos Rivas

    Fat slags, thanks to film brain, i know what that is, dam him! :)

    • Cristiona

      Me too. And I feel dumber for it.

  • Jason Withrow

    Interesting tone in the narration in this one: I almost universally got the impression that he was summarizing a more detailed story, even when he was talking about things they made up entirely for this version, like the princess and the crossbow? I’d be willing to bet a few dollars that the narrator had never read the book, and was just working on the assumption that they WERE a part of the original, and it really carries over into his performance. And why not? They hold the story together pretty well!

    • MichaelANovelli

      You mean, like, he was just making it up from memory as he went along? I might like this a little more, then…

  • Cristiona

    What, Frodo singing the bathing song for a zillion pages doesn’t tickle your fancy?

    • MichaelANovelli

      Not especially, no. It’s not like Roald Dahl wrote the lyrics…